B2B Superpowers - How To Get More From Your B2B Advertising Budget
In this exclusive webinar, join Oliver Yonchev, CEO and co-founder of Flight Story, as he unravels the secrets to supercharging your B2B advertising budget for optimal returns. With years of experience navigating the dynamic landscape of digital marketing, Oliver will share invaluable insights, strategies, and practical tips to help businesses extract the maximum value from their advertising investments.
Webinar topic detail
Strategic Budget Allocation: Learn how to strategically allocate your B2B advertising budget across various channels to reach your target audience effectively.
Data-Driven Decision-Making: Discover the power of data in enhancing your B2B advertising efforts. We’ll delve into the importance of leveraging analytics and metrics to make informed decisions, optimize campaigns, and drive better results.
Creative and Compelling Content: Uncover the secrets to crafting B2B advertising content that captivates your audience. Explore innovative approaches to content creation that resonate with your target market, fostering engagement and building brand credibility.
Adapting to Market Trends: Stay ahead of the curve by understanding and adapting to the latest trends in B2B advertising.
Measuring Success and ROI: Learn how to measure the success of your B2B advertising campaigns and calculate return on investment.
Case Studies and Real-world Examples: Gain valuable insights from real-world case studies and examples that demonstrate successful B2B advertising strategies.
Join us for this illuminating webinar designed for B2B marketers, business owners, and anyone seeking to enhance their marketing prowess. Discover the superpowers you need to thrive in the ever-evolving world of B2B marketing.
Don’t miss this opportunity to elevate your B2B advertising game and transform your budget into a powerful tool for business growth.
Join Oliver Yonchev in this enlightening webinar, and empower your marketing team with the knowledge and strategies needed to make your B2B advertising budget work harder for you.
Joe: Hello and welcome to B2B Superpowers, the webinar series, where we bring you the very best sales and marketing superheroes to share their tips and tricks to help guide you to become your very own B2B superhero. This week, I’m joined once again by co-founder of Flight Story, Oliver Yonchev. Oliver, it is great to have you back on a Lead Forensics webinar.
Oliver: Thank you, Joe. I feel like a veteran of the show.
Joe: Absolutely. Yeah, no, a hundred percent. No, as we say, very excited to have you back on, for this webinar, we are talking how to get more from your B2B advertising budget. We’re arming you with the tips and tricks to get the absolute most out of your available resources.
So, Oliver with that in mind, my first question to you is when you’re looking at your advertising budget, what was the first factor or even factors that you need to consider?
Oliver: Okay. I’m going to zoom out for a second because I think it’s an important point to level whenever we talk about B2B marketing.
I think language matters and B2B marketing often, encourages sets of behaviors that I don’t think are conducive with really good outcomes. And what I mean by that is we tend to assume that because we are selling from one business to another, we have to show up in the world in a different way. We have to be a bit more professional, a bit more formal.
The reality is, is whenever you’re marketing, you’re always marketing to a person. And the job of a marketer is to understand people, understand how to communicate to them more effectively. And that is the sole job of a marketing function. So, when we talk about budget allocation, it’s really interesting.
I could speak about how I would think about, you know, what proportion of your budget should be invested in creative and how much should be attributed to your distribution or your media efforts. But I tend to view the B2B outcomes is understanding who you are as a business. What you stand for and the problem with B2B marketing is there are usually a lot of voices in an equation and if I asked you, you know, Joe, what does Lead Forensics stand for, why are you great?
Why are you better than the other people? You’d give me a probably a good answer, but maybe if I ask someone else in the business, I get a different answer, right? I think it’s really important that all organizations start with understanding who they are. I call it your common language, defining that really clearly.
And that’s the enabler to do great marketing whether B2B, consumer marketing. And the second then, reiteration of that, is understand your customers. B2B buyers are vast and varied. You know, if you think about the influencers, we tend to just assume senior stakeholders make the decisions in our organization.
I, as a senior stakeholder, may be the person that signs things off more often than not, but I’m certainly not the person making the decision. So, I think a good foundation is know who you are, what you stand for, what’s your story. Second thing, really understand your audiences, interrogate them. B2B buyers are not one thing.
They’re people, they’re vast, they’re varied and they also don’t stand for everything. If you’re trying to communicate and sell services to say SMEs, that’s a very different approach probably to selling to enterprise, where maybe where procurement processes and systems are more rigid and you have more restrictions.
So, I think really important there that the two enablers are then from there, you build your plan, your strategy, your activity and then the next thing is to talk about budget allocation. How do you put resources in time? So, it’s interesting. We start the conversation on budget. But for me, I think there’s layers or steps that marketing functions and, B2B sales functions should think about first.
Joe: Well, it’s particularly in the, in the age of, you know, sort of B2B influencers growing that we’ve seen over the past few years as well. There’s a social media agency I’m a big fan of who their whole ethos is, you know, post like a creator.
So, it goes back to, just to reinforce what you were saying about B2B buyers still being people. If you behave in a similar way to like a B2C influencer would do as well that it does, as you say, it does resonate with people So then, you said just to pick up on, on something you said, you know, if you say you’re only targeting SMEs, for example, are you saying then that you absolutely shouldn’t diversify and go for other types of businesses? Or are you saying. Just stay in that lane?
Oliver: I think it’s really important to, to focus on- it’s an old adage: If you try and appeal to everyone, you ultimately appeal to no one. And I think when we think of how vast and varied the word businesses, how many industries that covers, I think going into the minutiae and really understanding your buyers is really important.
But what types of businesses are likely to buy from you? Then, who are the people that may have influence within the organization to inform that decision? And that should be a key factor in how you think about how you show up in the world, what you market, where you market, what tactics you use, who you partner with.
To your point, if you want to work with influential voices in your sector, you know, how you think about curating them, who are the right partnerships that you should engage with, but it all really starts from having a much clearer idea on who you are and who you want to speak to. It’s interesting as well.
I’ll go a step further is I have a very probably, advantageous view on B2B marketing because one, my entire career has been spent in building B2B businesses. We are a marketing company, so we sell to other businesses. So, I have the perspective of knowing the needs, you know, the growth ambitions, all the factors. But fundamentally, as well in a professional capacity, I’m a marketeer, you know, I obsess over strategy, creative, how to show up in the world in the right way, how to understand people.
So, it gives me probably, maybe a unique advantage point. And I often say our marketing teams that are largely responsible for helping represent our brand and grow who we are in the world and. Connectors with the right buyers. I often say they have the hardest job in the world because you’re dealing with an, a very opinionated marketer.
Joe: So, let’s drill down then into the allocation part of the conversation. Let’s, assume your budget’s been set, it’s been agreed upon – you know what you’re starting with. How do you go about allocating that across different advertising channels?
Oliver: Yeah, I think first and foremost I’m, the biggest believer in B2B marketing that you have to get your content engine working. And when we think about budgets we tend to segment and separate advertising/media budgets, creative production plus team resources.
I actually think that the priority for most organizations is make sure that your teams are well staffed and you have the skills and internal capabilities to meet your ambitions. That’s number one. The second thing then is, you know, through that content creation process, you know, you establish a really good team that are creative, that know who you are, that know your audiences.
The great thing about all online marketing is you are learning in real time. When you create things, you’re getting feedback. And feedback’s this wonderful thing that not enough people, I believe, respect. Feedback should inform how you show up next time. Feedback either tells you you’re great or reinforces what you’re saying is correct.
Or it helps you evolve and do something new. So, I think it’s really important that you get the, you get the right people, the right team, you figure out your content systems, you do a lot of trial and error testing, but also having the feedback loops in place. And then once you’ve established those things, then you start to open up your media channels and allocate budget.
And one of the cardinal sins that most companies do is they tend to deploy budget in too many places. So, they’ll look at multiple channels. I think you’re much better off focusing on one channel, learning how to do that well, efficiently and effectively getting the returns. And everybody has a different set of KPIs, your metrics of success.
If you’re say a SaaS business might be, you know, the biggest proxy might be new customers looking on your website. But it’s important that you do that in a sustainable manner. So, you have to then think about, okay, well, people get to our website, what happens then, you know, where are people dropping off in that user journey or that customer experience?
Where do I have blockers? And I think whenever you think about your media budgets or your advertising budgets or how you’re spending money, I think you can never look at those things in isolation and silo. And that’s a really difficult conversation to have because when you’re working with people that usually have governance over your finances, whether that’s management teams or finance departments, they want everything to be a perfect bucket.
They want to ringfence. “Here’s your marketing budget. Here’s what we’re going to spend. Here’s what we know about our cost per acquisition,” and unfortunately the world doesn’t work in those perfect systems. But what I will say is if you logically work through getting the right people and team as a foundation.
Understanding what content’s working, then focus on one channel. When you’ve done that well, move to two. It’s really interesting. You can genuinely build a giant business of being a master of one channel. And that one channel may be just Google. You may get great at AdWords, right? That one channel may just be LinkedIn.
You become phenomenal at content marketing on LinkedIn and, or, you know, lead generation through LinkedIn. It may be X, formerly Twitter. It may be TikTok. That’s the point, right? I think we tend to, this is a, another misconception that I probably say is some value to the audience. We tend to trivialize spaces that have a lot of attention.
So, I will often hear, well, I’m a B2B business and you know, I shouldn’t have a TikTok strategy. I would go, the average person on TikTok is 33. TikTok is probably now the most influential platform in the world. TikTok is a confusing place for people if you’re not familiar, but it is a place built on passions and niches.
So, whether you’re a garden manufacturer that is trying to sell gardening products to other businesses, all the way through to, you know, you’re a pottery company, there is a niche and a space and a community that’s built for you in TikTok. It’s built on passions and niches. So, when you’re thinking about marketing strategies or advertising strategies, I tend to have a view of where can I go, where I can get maximum attention for the lowest cost and places like TikTok, places like LinkedIn, they offer huge organic opportunity.
So, that’s why I struggle giving you a very simple binary answer to how should I spend my budget. Conventional wisdom would say you spend 20 percent on your creative and you spend 80 percent on your media. But the definitions of what media is, the definitions of what creativity is, all of these things have evolved drastically.
So, I tend not to view any of these activities in silo. I work from first principles and then ladder up from there.
Joe: Just to speak on the, on the TikTok piece, you’re absolutely right. The, niche of it, and this may seem like a strange comparison to draw with it, but I remember there was an interview with Stephen King and he said, you know, someone asked him “why do people buy your books? Why are you so popular? What is the most, the thing that you put in your books that keeps people coming back?”
And he actually, rather than the answer you might expect, which is, “Oh, it’s cause I scare people or write characters.” He says, “People love reading about people at work.”
And if you distill that down to TikTok, if you’re even, I don’t know how, how many times this has happened to you, Oliver, but you know, if I’m just scrolling through just in my own time or something, and I’ll see a chef preparing a fish or something, or you know, a carpenter doing something really intricate with some carving, that sort of thing, it really does hold your attention.
So just applying that sort of thing to a B2B sense, it makes complete sense that you should be on TikTok. There’s a regular guest, who I have on these webinars, called Mike Manzi. And that is one of the biggest proponents of how he has become famous in, you know, his industry.
He started off just doing clips on and he still does it now. He’ll just be driving down the street. In his car, and he will just get his phone out because I believe it’s legal over there. It isn’t in the UK, to be on the phone and drive, but he’ll just shoot a literally a five second clip saying, “Hey, the next time someone says this to you on a call, say this.”
And he’s built this huge following just off the back of just something as simple as, as pulling out your phone and just given a couple of sentences. He now has, you know, I think it’s 20 million views or something.
Oliver: And just to build on that point, I think there was some wisdom that, or a phrase that I loved several years ago.
And it was when, I suppose social media was this dark art and all organizations were trying to understand how they took advantage. Social media changed everything. It changed the way we communicate, democratized information. Although contested, it cut out the…the gatekeepers, for lack of a better word, of information.
And what’s really interesting, there was a phrase that I heard and I loved it. And it basically said, the story your company tells remains the same wherever you are, but the way you tell that story changes, and that’s how you should think about your marketing strategy. So me having a conversation with you about what I do and B2B marketing would be one story.
But me having that same conversation with my grandmother would be a different story or a different way of telling the same story. The way I would speak about B2B marketing on, say, a stage, if I was trying to give some practical tips and advice again, the way I would tell it would be different. And that’s how you should think about different channels for your marketing efforts.
You as a company should be very clear on who you are, speaking to, but the how you do that very different. So, on Tik Tok, the most effective way might be authentic to camera, talk to camera, spit some random thoughts, walking down the street, driving in a car, that might be the best way for you to communicate your business message.
However, on LinkedIn, it may be very different on your website. It may be very different on Twitter. It will again be very different, but the story remains the same.
Joe: I would venture actually Oliver that you explaining B2B marketing to your grandmother and me would actually be a quite a level conversation!
What can we do about identifying and eliminating wasted spending when it comes to a budget?
Oliver: That’s a very age old question. It was actually a famous Ogilvy quote. Adland Godfather. I think he said, “half of my advertising works, half of it doesn’t. The problem is I don’t know which half,” right?
As we move forward into a world filled with attribution, where we actually have data to reinforce our decisions. I don’t think that’s necessarily the case.
But marketing is nuanced. So, how do you not waste money? Well, I think first and foremost, you have to have the right systems and get the right feedback loops.
In fact, let me go, let me go back at that. I think number one, you need to define your KPIs. So, most people will say, well, a sale is the only KPI. Well, what are the KPIs that you need to measure that ladder up to that sale? And there will be many of them, right? So, I think define your KPIs. The second thing is what I described.
They have the feedback loops in place. So, when you’re doing activity- and I believe you should have a philosophy of it never being too late to make the right decision. And what I mean by that is when the data presents itself, that you’re doing the wrong things, be ruthless in cutting formats, be ruthless in cutting channels.
That’s not to say, you know, you wouldn’t revisit them. But I’ll give you an example. One of our partner businesses, they’re B2B. They, they focus on a very niche B2B buyer. Developers, they spend a lot of time focusing on short form content because conventional wisdom would say, you know, I can spend less resources to create lots more and reach lots of people.
And they actually found through the data that they got back and they had the feedback loops was 90 percent of their returns were coming from long form content on YouTube, meaning developers were going onto YouTube and searching for these very long technical breakdowns and that was a funnel to drive them to the website and it was their prime channel.
So, what did they do? They basically stopped all short form content, even though it can provide some results and doubled down on long form and made sure that the standards rose. They reiterated and continued to build on that because they were getting the majority of the unlocks. And that goes back to kind of what I referenced before about just doing one thing really well.
Deciding what one thing you should do is not as easy as it’s, as it sounds. Right. Because something simple does not mean it’s easy. So, I think, the foundation is always know what your KPIs are. Make sure you have the feedback loops and systems in place, number two. And then the third piece is be relentless in willing to cut things that aren’t working and focus your B2B marketing efforts.
Joe: Absolutely. “Kill your darlings” is the famous quote that’s attributed that sort of thing isn’t it, particularly in writing anyway.
So, here’s something else I wanted to ask you about, because obviously Lead Forensics are, you know, a fairly substantial organization. Let’s assume that we’ve got somebody watching this today who’s got a small business, you know, perhaps it’s just, you know, they’ve got 1 to 10 employees, that sort of size, we’ll assume that they have an extremely limited advertising budget.
What advice do you have for prioritizing, and making the most impact with their advertising spend? Does it vary actually to what we’ve been talking about previously?
Oliver: Absolutely. I don’t like to speak in generalisms because I think it’s much better to be specific to the type of business, but as a broad statement, if I had a very limited marketing budget, I would do no advertising and I would hire a content creator.
Number one, because in you hiring a content creator, you’re going to do all the things that I said: they’re going to put content out into the world on different channels for you on your behalf. And if they have the right feedback loops in place, you’re going to learn what works. And as that starts to prove and, provide dividends and start to garner results, you can then reinvest in the distribution, which is often your advertising budgets.
So number one, if I had a limited budget, I would hire someone. And what I will say around limited budgets, we are now going through a technology renaissance with generative AI.
And, I speak a lot about how generative AI is going to impact the world, but one of the biggest things it is going to do is create a productivity paradigm, meaning small teams are now capable of doing things previously only much larger teams were able to do. Me as an individual can now use an AI application to draft or support or be my creative sparring partner to pull insights and come up with ideas. I can use a generative tool to take this long form content, if it was listed on YouTube and make 20 clips for basically no cost that will serve my content agent engine.
Previously, before these tools were readily available and accessible at such a low cost, I would have to employ usually an agency or hire a couple of designers and a couple of creatives.
It’s not to say that those roles and responsibilities aren’t integral within the team, but small teams, even solo individuals can achieve so much more. So, I’m usually encouraged. I think if you’re a small business and you’re looking at your sales and marketing, you have more advantages than you ever have had in the history of commerce, and the history of the economy.
And actually, you are not encumbered by all the disadvantages and the diseconomies of scale that larger organizations have. You didn’t have big robust processes that stop you being agile and testing and trying things. You don’t have the same governance. So, I’m really encouraged for SMEs and small businesses right now.
Joe: I mean, I’ll be honest, Oliver. I did anticipate that we’d be talking about AI a bit earlier in the conversation! I’m surprised it’s taken us this long to get around to that topic! But you’re absolutely right in what you say. And you know, I think, what was it, six months ago, you and I, we had a conversation about AI, even in that time, it’s changed so much. Again, the things that are on offer, the things that programs and software, the applications they can do, compared to six months ago, it’s astounding the leaps that they’ve made. So yeah, no, you’re, you’re absolutely spot on with, the power of using AI to, to do your marketing for you one hundred percent.
Oliver: Yeah. And let me, let me give you one user case. So maybe a month ago, OpenAI are now in the headlines for a number of reasons. They probably don’t want to be in the headlines. However, a month ago they did a very significant announcement whereby they effectively created something they called the GPT store.
And this is the app store for building custom AI. And creating an app store or a marketplace for AI wasn’t the most profound thing or the most original idea. But what was incredible is how low the barrier is to create a custom GPT. It can be as simple as you pulling all source and reference material about you and your business into one document and using that to create, you know, a custom solution.
I’ll give you a one example in my world, how you can bring that to life. In marketing, you mentioned budgets. How do you know where to spend it? In marketing, we’re always guessing. We’re making educated guesses based on our experience and data and information. And we make an educated guess. Now you don’t have to guess.
You could build a custom GPT with very, with very much ease. It costs you, I think, $20 a month to have a premium subscription that enables you to create custom GPTs. You could make a GPT that is a replica of your ideal customer profiles. And before you test your marketing in the world, or before you spend money, you could test it on your GPT.
Hey, do you like this image? Can you give me some recommendations that you think would be better for you? You could ask a GPT, “Hey, is this language suitable? Would it connect with you? Would you click on this ad? Give me some tips for changing the copy to make it more suitable.” And you could do this against every priority customer profile.
And now as marketeers, we’re going into an age where we can effectively take the guesswork out of marketing. So, I suddenly go, okay, if you understand. These technologies and by understanding it simply means we’re right at the start of an exponential curve. Understanding means just having the appetite to go test and learn and listen, starting there, the opportunities for small businesses and individuals are mind-blowing, truly are mind-blowing.
Joe: Absolutely, 100%. Oliver, unfortunately, we are going to start to run out of time slightly here. So, you’ve offered up some incredible insights and value to our audience.
If I could ask you, I’m intrigued what this is going to be, actually- if I could ask you for one final top tip that you’d like our audience to take away with them today. What is that one golden rule you’d like them to take away?
Oliver: I think there is an undeniable truth that social media marketing or the ability to understand how to do it well is a huge advantage in a business, whether that’s for your personal profile or for your business. I encourage everyone to create content and that on LinkedIn.
Or any platform that they choose, because having gone through that process for about a year and a half, myself, putting ideas into the world is intimidating, speaking about your business, but it does two things. It forces you to go out and learn new things, which I think is an enabler for many successes.
It forces you to try and draw inspiration. It also forces you to solidify and articulate your ideas, and then you get feedback from the world, whether they’re good ideas, they’re bad, so you can evolve them or you can reinforce your conviction. So, I think a huge unlock for all businesses is being a practitioner.
And most people just go, “Hey, it’s not for me. I don’t like it, you know, it feels a bit vain or, you know, I don’t have the time.” I think if you care about your profession and want to pursue and be better at your craft, it will be probably the biggest unlock that you will have as an individual within an organization or an organization.
If you learn how to create content.
Joe: A hundred percent. Oliver Yonchev, thank you so much for sharing your B2B superpowers with us today. Do keep an eye on Lead Forensics’ socials for news of our upcoming webinars. And we will see you again very, very soon. Oliver, thank you so much.
The Art of Persuasion in B2B
Join this exclusive webinar where you'll unveil the secrets of effective persuasion, including some important ones you might not know you're missing!
Get ready for a session packed ...
Building a High Performing B2B Sales Team
Is your sales team as effective as possible?
Is there any room for improvement?
Join us for a conversation with returning Lead Forensics webinar guest, Tyler Witt, ...
How To Crush Your B2B Cold Calls
Cold Calling is tough. We got you.
Join us for How To Crush Your B2B Cold Calls on February 8, when we’ll be joined by Kevin Hopp, ...